The United States of Meathook

It should come as no shock that NOLA has become a political catastrophe for the President, on top of its mind-boggling human toll. The latest indignity – survivors (black ones, anyways) are being rounded up into camps and held on lockdown, unable to leave, unable to even cook their food, mandated to eat the two FEMA-provided meals daily. This is our United States of America.

It is now well beyond time to realize that George W. Bush and his administration have absolutely no interest in being popular. It would have been easy to handle this situation correctly, rightly, justly, but they have no interest in justice, no interest in any right but their own. Their chief and only interest, is their interests – tearing the country apart along the way is not just an unfortunate side effect, it is a means to their ends.

The waters (though not simply waters but bodies, man and beast, and the most noxious chemicals man has devised) may be pumped out of NOLA, but even beyond that, even beyond the thousands, the tens of thousands dead – the tens of thousands dead – we will all be left in the toxic muck, until and unless we learn to say, “Enough!”, and stand, and walk out.

What does that mean? I do not know, quite, or yet, but the ringing in my ears is growing loud and it’s well past time for something.

UPDATE: Sid Blumenthal gets it, partly -

Hurricane Katrina is the anti-9/11 in its divisive political effect, its unearthing of underlying domestic problems, and its disorienting impact on the president and his administration. Yet, in other ways, the failure of government before the hurricane struck is reminiscent of the failures leading into 9/11. The demotion of FEMA resembles the demotion of counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke. In both cases, the administration ignored clear warnings.

In a conversation with a former diplomat with decades of experience, I raised these parallels. But the Bush administration response evoked something else for him. "It reminds me of Africa," he said. "Governments that prey on their people."

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